Hanalei Blog

July 3, 2014 by, Lindsey

There is a relatively new tradition that I want to share about, and invite you to come to. It is this Saturday, July 5th at the Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park. It is the annual “After the Fireworks” event. This is a time where we as a community can come together and clean up the Bay from all of the fireworks litter and debris left behind from the night before. I love a good fireworks show, but I will readily admit that I love Hanalei Bay more, much, much more.

The gathering of helpers to commence the cleanup will meet at 9am. I was told to bring gloves and a shovel if you have one. I suggest wearing a hat of some sort, and to wear sunscreen. There will be other cleanup supplies provided. Contact Kelly at 808-826-2218 if you have any further questions. She is the point of contact for this event.

I chose to blog about this to inform more of our community about this productive annual tradition. For those who are living here and those who are visiting, please come on out and lend a helping hand. In years past I heard there are light refreshments served as well. Very thoughtful for the sponsors of this little event to have something like that. Hope to see you there!

June 20, 2014 by, Lindsey

Usually I am on my game and can share about some fun and interesting things to do on Kauai, but this one is last minute! I have just the thing for folks to do on Kauai’s north shore for tomorrow night, Saturday, June 21st. At Tahiti Nui, a great eatery, there will be a live performance by Guadi! They are calling it a Summer Solstice Show. After all, it is the first day of summer tomorrow. ;)

Tahiti Nui is in Hanalei, located at 5-5134 Kuhio Highway. This public concert begins in the evening (9pm), and I suggest getting there sooner rather than later. Get something tasty to eat at Tahiti Nui like their baby back ribs, or their Garden Isle salad. They are also a cocktail lounge, so if that is something you would like to purchase, for those age 21 and up go right on ahead. Also on the menu are beer and wine.

If you are in the area, I think this would be a great thing to go to, for you night owls. If you are not in the area, it is worth your time to come on up and check out Guadi, Tahiti Nui, and the rest of Kauai’s north shore. Here in Hanalei with the bay and everything, it is not a place you should pass on through. Come on over, stay awhile!

June 5, 2014 by, Lindsey

I saw this post in my newsfeed this morning. The picture is almost as good as the real thing! ;) If you have not been to Kauai’s north shore, you should really put it on your bucket list if it is not there already. Hanalei Bay is simply gorgeous and a very awakening place to be. By awakening, I mean it makes me feel alive. It engages all of my senses when I am there. The sights are magnificent, the smells extraordinary (in a good way), the sounds soothing and calming, and the touch of the sand on your feet and the wind at your back makes me feel alive. I love it when I get moments out of my day to stop, and smell the roses. I like it when I catch myself with all of my senses screaming at me! The beauty, the weather of this place is nine times out of ten, perfect! Even then, I do appreciate variety in weather.

Want to talk about weather in Hanalei? How does 79 degrees Fahrenheit sound? Partly cloudy? There is a chance of rain later today, but that does not affect the temperature much at all. There’s nothing wrong with a little spring sprinkling. That picture I posted is spot on when it comes to describing today’s weather. Just enough clouds to keep the sun playing peek-a-boo.

Hanalei Bay is a gorgeous place to come and stay… and to play and learn too! Why not learn about Kauai’s history and indulge yourself into some knowledge? The Hoopulapula Haraguchi Rice Mill and Taro Farm has a tour that is just what you were asking for when you asked for an informative, historical indulgence into Kauai’s past.

The tours are by appointment only, so follow the link to get connected and set your tour date with the good people at the Haraguchi Rice Mill (www.haraguchiricemill.org). Or you can call them at (808) 651-3399. While I’m at it and looking up their exact information, here is their address too: 5-5070 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, HI 96714.

So this facility is part rice mill, part taro farm. There used to be acreage that supported rice, but that has since turned into an active taro farm. What is taro you may ask? Taro (or kalo) is a plant that produces what is called “poi.” Poi is a common staple food on Hawaii. From what I know about it, it is very nutritious, hypo-allergenic, and gentle on sensitive tummies. I know some who have used it as a milk substitute even. Ok, perhaps you know a bit more about taro now. :)

I do not want to give away all of the neat and interesting facts about this family owned farm, but I will tell you that you will not regret going! For the tour, dress accordingly and be prepared to get your shoes wet or maybe even muddy. This is a hands-on, interactive, and very informative tour. I was able to appreciate the Haraguchi’s dedication and work ethic to this historical place as they continue to farm this precious land.

Thinking of staying at a resort on Kauai? The Hanalei Bay Resort has condos perfect for a vacation rental getaway. These condos have all that you need to get that perfect atmosphere surrounding you and your family and friends while staying on Kauai. The Garden Island’s north shore is the place to stay when you are coming to Kauai!

This condo has it all when it comes to amenities! It is a three bedroom, two bath rental. There are two king sized bedrooms (so that sleeps four people right there) and there is a loft bedroom with two twin beds (so that’s another two people). It sleeps six people in beds–consider the couches if you have another person you are needing to squeeze in a spot to sleep.

There is air conditioning. This might seem like something standard depending on where you live, but I just wanted to note it in case it was something you were really seeking out in a vacation rental. The entire resort has wireless internet! There are also flat screen TV’s in all of the bedrooms and in the living room. This makes for some good ol’ fashioned down-time when you are relaxing at this resort.

A resort with kitchens in its condos? Yes! Hanalei Bay Resort 6301 has a full sized kitchen. This makes vacationing so much easier when you have access to a sink, water, a fridge and freezer, stovetop, oven, etc. If you have special dietary needs or are traveling with someone who does, this will make your vacation go much more smoothly. Being able to shop and have food nearby at all times will ensure peace of mind and some monetary savings. ;)

Speaking of savings, this resort vacation rental rents as low as $2,100 per week! For all that you get, this is a real deal. For a resort with an ocean view, you cannot get much better of a rate as this. Oh–and let me finish telling you about the rest of the amenities… There is a full sized washer and dryer in the unit. How convenient is that?

Do you like tennis? The resort have a full-service tennis court and pro-shop. Just imagine the views while playing a few rounds in the morning. It’s a gorgeous place to stay and play. The resort’s pool is also a big plus! Be sure to check out the pictures and availability calendar at the link I listed in this post. Places like this make staying on Kauai’s north shore easy and affordable in my opinion.

May 14, 2014 by, Lindsey

Let’s talk beaches! Which one to go to? What to expect? I can understand it may be overwhelming to select a beach to go to. You want to go to one that meets your needs. Some are private, some are more busy and populated. Some are high on the bluffs, others have some smooth sand. There is quite a variety on Kauai. Today I want to spotlight Lumahai Beach in Hanalei. This north shore beach is one you may just fall in love with. ;)

Have you ever seen the movie “South Pacific?” If so, you have seen Lumahai Beach! This is a good beach for photographs, beach walking, sunset viewing, and some snorkeling. There is a lifeguard on duty during normal hours.

There are magnificent black lava rocks around and in the water. The contrast, the colors, it is all just so picturesque. The sand is so white. Did I mention the colors already? Blue, black, white, add in some green from the trees and some white from the clouds (if any) and you have got yourself a perfect picture! The sand–that is what I wanted to talk about before I got carried away–the sand is a dream. I do not know how else to say it really. If you are looking for a beach to walk and talk along, feel the wind in your hair, and watch a beautiful sunset at–Lumahai Beach is perfect for you. Memories and special moments are made here!

So you want to come here? Here is the Google Map results of Lumahai Beach. After following that link click on directions and you should be able to navigate how to get there from your location on Kauai.

May 12, 2014 by, Lindsey

Well, I sit here now having a quiet evening at home. It was a busy day for me on this Mother’s Day. I got to be with my mom most of the day and spend some quality family time with her. It was a relaxing day in that there were no demands on me, nor were there on her. It was a day of rejuvenation and time invested into our relationship. Now that I am an adult (and have been for some time now,) we have become good friends, my mom and me. It is neat to look back and see that shift in our relationship from parent to child, from friend to friend. Do not get me wrong, I will always be her baby girl she tells me, but it is different now that I am an adult and I am pioneering my own path in life.

First we started the day off with sleeping in. Yes, a lazy start. It was rather nice. I literally had nothing on my calendar but the number 11 on the page and the tiny printed words “Mother’s Day” that came on the calendar when I bought it. My mom and I met up for lunch at The Hanalei Gourmet. It was just the right mix of formal meets affordable for me. Yes, I bought her meal! Then we went to Relish (also in Hanalei) to get a mani-pedi. I am glad I booked us an appointment when I did. After that we headed for the beach. We went for a stroll along the beach and joined up with my dad and some other family friends. It was so natural, so easy today. I like it when I have nothing on the calendar and still things seem to go just as planned. That is what made me want to blog about today. It was just so carefree, simple, and yet so perfect. I wish now I had more vacation time so I could have more days like today. Days with family and friends. I cherish days like this.

Happy Mother’s Day!

May 3, 2014 by, Lindsey

Looking for a place to grab a bite to eat? And a yummy one at that? I enjoy going to Hanalei Wake-up Cafe from time to time. I eat at home most of the time, but when I go out to eat, I like to make it worth my while.

Here are my basic rules to follow when I am indecisive and cannot decide what to order. In no particular order:

Am I craving anything right now? Then I’ll order that.

What do I like on the menu that I either do not know how to cook at home, or that I do not cook at home? Then I’ll order that.

Then, if it is coming down to just a few items and I still cannot decide, I will ask myself: What is the least expensive item of what I want? Then I’ll order that.

In a matter of minutes, I can then order something to please my taste buds and my tummy!

While at Hanalei Wake-up Cafe I have ordered their cinnamon roll. And yes, this is craveable at times for me. I have ordered their breakfast quesadilla–delish!

This breakfast and brunch eatery is located at 5-5144 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, Hawaii. Click here to see its location in google maps. Please note (before you go) that they are a cash only establishment. Other than that, I think you are well prepared to go and enjoy some good eats while at this place. They are on my restaurant list of places I like to eat!

April 25, 2014 by, Lindsey

Last month history was made, yet again. Remember Bethany Hamilton? The one whose real life story was written about in the book, Soul Surfer? And then it was turned into a feature film in 2011? Well, the latest on this amazing young woman’s story is that she has taken first place at this year’s Surf n Sea Pipeline Women’s Pro hosted here in Hawaii!

She has not let life’s hurdles get in her way. Check out this article on her winning this year’s big event. http://surf.transworld.net/1000167400/photos/bethany-hamilton-wins-surf-n-sea-pipeline-pro/. The ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) results are at the bottom of the article, too, for scoring purposes. Check it out!

If you have not been to a surfing competition, let me tell you it is something to do at least once in a lifetime. If at all possible, do it more than once. I saw this in my morning’s news feed from “The Garden Island” paper, and I thought I would share. Here is the article on “Hawaii surf championship opens today at Ala Moana Bowls” which highlights the four sites for the competition along the way. I want to try and make the event at Pine Trees in Hanalei!

Saturday. The day before Easter! Tomorrow is the 13th Annual Pine Trees Classic surf contest in Hanalei. Surfing begins early in the morning at 7am. This is an event for kids ages 5 through 12. It is located at Pine Trees beach.

This is a great family event to go to. Thousands of people show up and it makes for a welcoming atmosphere. I have gone in the past, and I had a good time. There have been sponsors there years prior, and they will likely be back giving away free things from hats and shirts to posters and backpacks (just like the year I went with family). In years past I have seen sponsors give away surfboards, too! I wonder if that will happen again this year?! I guess we will have to find out tomorrow…

For those who are not participating in the surfing contest, there are other booths and things for kids to do. I doubt anyone would feel left out. There is simply too much to do and see. It is a time for the community to come together. When I was there last year I did not see unhappy faces. The contest is fun and competitive, but really it is more about the kids, having fun, and getting some surfing in.

As for those in the contest, they have given out trophies in the past, and I would assume that they would do the same again this year. It is an everybody wins kind of encouraging and motivational time for the kids.

Looking for things to do on Kauai’s north shore? How about kayaking? This is not the kind of kayaking that has rapids or something like that, this kind of kayaking is more like paddling around. If you are not a fitness buff, then this may feel like an upper body workout a bit… like it was for me.

Kayaking on Hanalei River is a fun thing to do, and it’s family friendly. There are kayaks for rent (that seat up to three people is the most I have seen). There are folks out there with children too, so you can bring them along if you think they are ready, good listeners, and who want to go out on the water. I have seen kids as young as about four years old, if that helps any.

There are multiple locations on the north shore to get out and on the water. Hanalei River is the one I like to kayak on. The water is easy and smooth. The landscape is breathtaking! You are bound to see wildlife such as turtles and birds. It is like an estuary out there.

With any kayaking adventure, I recommend going prepared. Sunscreen is a must, a water bottle, maybe a sunhat or other type of shade. Wear clothes that you would be okay getting wet in as far as shorts and shoes. You can bring your cell phone if you wish. There is a thing called a “dry bag” case that is available for rent at most all kayak rental shops. It is large enough to hold a few small possessions to keep dry, such as a phone, wallet, and a key ring. In case the inside of the boat gets wet, these items will be just fine. If you think this is a good investment for your lifestyle, go ahead a buy a dry bag, or bring the one you already own.

March 30, 2014 by, Lindsey

If you live on Kauai then you know exactly what I am talking about when I say “shave ice” …for those of you who are going to be coming to Kauai soon or are here visiting, let me tell you now: please treat yourself to some shave ice…

Shave ice is beautifully shaved ice that I like to describe as “fluffy, soft, smooth and fine.” This is not a snow cone or a slushy or anything like that. It is so significantly better that it really does not compare to those. Shave ice is delicious and it comes in a wide variety of flavors. Syrups are added to give the shave ice its flavor.

There is also the option to get ice cream with your shave ice. I recommend the ice cream. Why? Because I like ice cream. The ice cream is also your choice, so pick carefully and pair well with your syrups. When in doubt, ask the person serving you what they like and they will be sure to recommend a good combination.

Where can you get shave ice? On the north shore here, there is a place called Shave Ice Paradise. They set up shop at 5-5183 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, HI 96714. Type that into your GPS or smart phone and they are open most afternoons on into the evening. I like–no wait, I love their shave ice with Macadamia nut ice cream and coconut syrup. Heaven in a cup. Look here for their other syrup flavors.

Another hot spot to go for shave ice is at Wishing Well Shave Ice in Hanalei. Here is their address 5-5066 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, HI 96714. There are more flavors on the menu, but I say equally as good as Paradise. If one is not open, go to the other, really. When you need some shave ice in your life, you just need it. And then you’ll need seconds! That is what I always have to talk myself out of: seconds… each time I have shave ice.

There are other tasty shave ice locations on Kauai’s north shore, I just highlighted two today. I will name others in later blogs and other types of eateries as well. I just had to share about shave ice so you too can experience it–and the sooner the better.

March 11, 2014 by, Lindsey

Alright, this is turning out to be a busy week for me and this weekend is looking to be much busier! There are so many events and activities going on here on “The Garden Island” that I must share as many as I can! If you are not wanting to travel to Lihue for the lei making workshop this Saturday, I would encourage you to come to a free event on the north shore.

It is a community workday–a great way to get involved in the community by lending a helping hand. Did I mention that after the cleanup they are also providing a free lunch? Yes, there is a Waipa Community Workday this Saturday from 9am to 12noon followed by a free lunch.

This may not seem like the most glamorous event, but it sure has a lot of meaning and purpose. The workday is to help control the weeds and to then plant native trees and other useful plants of the Ahupua’a of Waipa and Malama the stream.

Interested in getting a bit dirty to help beautify Kauai’s natural landscape? If you are genuinely interested in helping out, here is what you can do. Contact Emmaleah at (831) 566-4575. She will want to know that you are coming. This will also help the Waipa Foundation plan for lunch that day. After you RSVP, pack your bag. Bring a filled water bottle, good shoes for walking and hiking, a towel, a snack if you so desire, and gloves for gardening type activities. Apply sunscreen and insect repellant before you come out, too.

The group is starting out the cleanup workday at Waipa, just a half mile out of Hanalei. This is a great option for those of you staying on Kauai’s north shore. If you and your family or group of friends staying on the island are looking for something productive to do, this is a great option for a few hours on Saturday morning. Now if only I can decide on which event or events I can make it to that day!

February 24, 2014 by, Lindsey

Kauai has made great improvements over the years to cater to alternative forms of transportation. One of which is the North Shore Path for bicyclists, walkers, runners, and others. Back in 2012, the North Shore Path (NSP) was unveiled. It is a beautiful paved path connecting the communities of Kilauea, Princeville, and Hanalei along the North Shore. Now that you know some basics of this nature-filled path, let me tell you more…

This path has been something welcomed by the community. It offers an alternative to motorized vehicles as a way for transportation. It promotes exercise, health and wellness, and a more united sense of community. I have been out on the NSP and I like it when I come across others on the path, along the way to my destination. I always see friendly faces when I am on it. Sometimes I go out and bike on it for pure exercise. Other times I have used it to make a leisurely commute on my bicycle.

The path really is an extensive trail that is composed of some road sharing and some alternative paths so you can more efficiently get to your destination. In the Princeville area on into Hanalei Bay there are some parts of the path near the water, too. If you have a bike and you are anywhere near the North Shore, this is something you must do.

Perhaps you are going to be vacationing in the Hanalei area and you will not have a bicycle with you. Not to worry! There are bicycle rental shops in the area! In Hanalei there is Pedal n Paddle. Click on the link to see prices and cruise their site to get their exact physical address. The folks there are very nice and helpful–I recommend them! :)

If you do not wish to bike the NSP then please, walk it! If you have little ones, stroll on it! It is something outdoorsy, free to do and it keeps us all moving. I know I look for ways to add exercise into my day. If you are on vacation, this is a great way to help keep fit.

February 16, 2014 by, Lindsey

What a lovely weekend it has been. I hope your Valentine’s Day was as pleasant as it could be. The weekend was full of activities for me, as you can see from following my blog ;)

On Sundays I usually look at my calendar for the week ahead, and make some plans here and there to keep myself busy with fun things to do. Again, this is the planner in me! One activity I like to do often is visit one of the Sunshine Markets on Kauai. This is also known by others as a Farmers Market. If you are looking for the freshest produce, this is the place to go! I really like the atmosphere there as well; good food and good people!

I suggest Tuesday’s market at Hanalei at Waipa. It starts at 2 o’clock pm and goes until about 4pm. It is held at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center on Papalina Road just after the fire station. This is the place to go if you are looking for organic produce, fresh tropical fruits, exotic tropical flowers, and herbs. I have seen the majority of the foods there to be organic. There are also some non-food vendors there selling things like jewelry or other cute little crafts and souvenirs.

If you are in the area, staying in Princeville, Hanalei, or Haena I suggest adding this to your to do list for Tuesday. If you are arriving to your vacation rental on the north shore, stop by this market to fill up your kitchen with healthy, local, delicious food for your stay. And it is every Tuesday–not just this upcoming one. I do not get around to going every week… it is more like every other week for me I suppose. My tips if you are planning to go are: wear comfortable walking shoes, bring reusable bags for your purchases, and if you can, use small bills for your purchases.

February 2, 2014 by, Lindsey

Well, today was the Super Bowl in the wide world of sports. I opted not view the game. Instead, I saw this as an opportunity to get out and do something for myself. I do like to relax every now and then ;) …spa services followed by some evening blogging does the trick for me. After all, I did have had a busy weekend!

It was refreshing to go out and get a manicure and pedicure. This is something I do not always go out and do. But hey, it is a way I can pamper myself without breaking the bank. I went to Relish in Hanalei and I just love the name, the atmosphere there, and my nails! At first, you may be thinking, “Relish, as in what I put on my hot dog and what goes in potato salad… that relish?” Short answer: no. Not the condiment.

This takes the meaning of relish as a verb, “to take pleasure in” or “to enjoy.” Now that is what this place is all about! I filled my reusable cup with cucumber and lemon infused water and off I went. Sometimes you just have to make time in your schedule to have some “me time.” If you are staying in the Hanalei area and are looking for just that–some me time–I suggest you schedule your manicure, pedicure, and/or hair appointment with them ASAP. It is just respectful, I think, to both your time and theirs to get an appointment on the calendar. This will ensure you are not waiting to be serviced, should there be other customers at that time (then again their waiting area is quite nice).

These friendly people are located at 5-5161 Suite 210 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, HI 96714. It is located right above Barracuda Restaurant on the second story. They are open from 10am to 5pm each day. I recommend calling to schedule an appointment. I did the work for you and got their number: (808) 826-7742. You’re welcome.

January 18, 2014 by, Lindsey

So, you are staying or going to stay on Kauai in the Hanalei Bay area, huh? That is a great choice! Let me tell you about one of the fav, dive bars in the area. If you do not drink that is fine. Go there for the pizza at least. The restaurant and cocktail lounge is called Tahiti Nui. If you are on Kauai right this moment here is the street address so you can plug it into your smart phone or GPS system and get there without any problems: 5-5134 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei. Click here to follow turn by turn directions if that is easier for you. :)

The Mai Tai is popular and so is the pizza. That is what I would say it is best known for. What my favorite part of this restaurant is not just the food, but also the live music. Yes, I said it and I meant it. The live music at dinnertime is simply fantastic and genuine. I like anything really that is genuine and authentic. This is the real deal! Hawaiian music in Hanalei. Perfection.

Something else I should let you know about Tahiti Nui: patio seating. It is not all indoor seating. If you’re willing, I suggest dining outside. Why outside? Here is my take on the topic…

Dining outdoors I am convinced makes my food taste even better! Being outside in the elements with the fresh air filling my lungs makes it so that my experience is more real–more awakening. It is difficult to put words to exactly. Dining on the patio enables me to look around at the scenery and to enjoy the landscape as I savor my food. It may seem silly to some, but I am convinced the setting has a lot to do with the overall experience. Now add the live performers and their music. Again, perfection! This combination with food, setting, and live entertainment makes for a great combination.

Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays are days I suggest to go. Yes, there will be more people there simply because it is the weekend, but from my perspective that is more attractive for as a restaurant-goer it makes for better people watching, meeting new people, and also experiencing the live music as a group. There becomes a sense of community when you are at a restaurant like this. It is a fun, fun thing!

Are you coming to stay in the Hanalei area on Kauai? Please let me help you make plans for your upcoming stay! After all, you are looking for things to do in the area, things that are fun and entertaining. I know just the thing for you and your family. This would also make for a great couples or adult outing. Experience A Taste of Kauai, Yesterday and Today. This is more than a meal, it is a tour, an outdoor event, a learning experience for everyone who is a part of the event.

Ok so mark your calendars for Friday, January 24th. Tours usually start at 9:30am and end about 1:00pm. Note that reservations for tours must be made three or more days in advance, thus me telling you all about it now. I try to plan ahead so I thought I would give you lovely folks a heads up.

What is this cultural festival all about? This is a culinary tour unlike any other! You will get to learn about how ancient Hawaiian farming and food preparation techniques relate to this modern day. You will get to tour a taro and market garden as well as a fishpond. This all takes place in the beautiful Hanalei Valley Wildlife Refuge.

Now for the food part–the eating part–you do get to experience the taro tasting and a four course lunch at the breath-taking Hanalei Bay. What is on the menu? Local, fresh, and delicious cuisine. Organic chicken, local fish, handmade raviolis, and fresh vegetables are on the menu. For dessert Passion Fruit Cheesecake and Banana Lumpia will be served. Banana Lumpia is a fried banana dessert topped with brown sugar or sometimes caramel. It does depend on the time of year you go to get what is locally grown and in-season at that time.

I have heard wonderful reports about this cultural festival in Hanalei. If you are staying nearby this would be an ideal addition to your vacation stay. The Hanalei Valley Wildlife Refuge is a place where you will not only experience and see the culinary side of Kauai but you will also be able to see endangered birds, indigenous fish and many, many native plants. Be sure to bring your camera for this one! I also suggest wearing comfortable shoes for this event for it is a walking tour along farmland and also on the beach when it comes time for lunch.

Like I mentioned already, you do need reservations for this event. Tickets cost $115 plus tax for this once in a lifetime experience. To hold your reservation, call 808-635-0257 and leave a message if they do not pickup. Upon registering you will be emailed an itinerary of the festival.

January 4, 2014 by, Lindsey

Well here it is: a new year, a fresh beginning. To start off the year right it was my pleasure to start this lovely Friday morning with a steaming hot cup of Hawaiian brewed coffee. Ever since I hit adulthood, coffee has been my go-to. On this special day of the new year I decided I had better make it to Hanalei Coffee Roasters to get a cup of the good stuff.

What I love about this place is that they use locally grown coffee beans, roast them, and serve that coffee to customers in their shop. If you thought I loved coffee–which I most certainly do–you must also know something about me: I love locally grown food. And by food I mean food and drinks. After all, coffee beans are a non-liquid substance turned into a liquid drink. Never mind. The point is that I like coffee and I love Hanalei Coffee Roasters and what they are all about.

This café is a coffee, tea, breakfast, brunch restaurant. It is not large scale though and most days you will find a line out the door. But hey–that is how you know you have found something good! I knew I was in for it today since it’s a Friday and all but I just had to. If Max is there he will be sure to entertain you as well. Good folks there.

This is not a sit-down and be waited on kind of place, it is a bit more casual like other coffee shops. They just so happen to serve yummy food too! When you go, go all out. Yes get coffee (or tea). Stay and eat too. If you order something like a waffle or a pancake, ask for coconut syrup. If you like coconut to begin with, then go for it. Trust me.

I ordered a chocolate raspberry volcano muffin. Oh my goodness it took everything in me not to order another! That and a hot vanilla latte did me in. What a lovely morning it was. I am in good spirits for the first weekend of the new year! There is something wonderful about coffee and to pair that with such an amazing place–that is something beautiful. There is outdoor seating, and that is where I prefer to sit. Something about a cup of coffee in hand and to be able to feel the elements–or be right next to them–makes me feel alive and awake. I love Kauai and here at this coffee shop in Hanalei is where I like to get my coffee from.

All this talk and now you want to go there? HCR are in Hanalei. If you are already staying in Hanalei, simply take the Kuhio Highway to Hanalei Family Center (5-5183C Kuhio Hwy).

Have you ever heard of Kalo? Honestly, not a lot of people have. But have you heard of Taro? This term is a bit more common, but both refer to the same plant!

Here on Kauai, Kalo is a very important crop. It was first brought to the Hawaiian islands in 300 different varieties, each of which was different and relatively unique. Today, there are only 100 varieties grown amongst the islands, with quite a few varieties growing right here on Kauai. (After all, we’re the garden isle, right? We have the perfect weather for the Kalo crop!)

The type of Kalo we grow tends to grow best in tropical environments where it can get plenty of water. Here on Kauai, lush vegetation is easy to grow because the mountains bring the mist and the light rains throughout the year. So growing Karo is easier for us than it is for most. Plus, we also have lo’I, which are kalo patches sustained by constant flows of water. (If you want to see such a place and how the irrigation systems work, take a tour of one of our Taro/Kalo plantations. You will be amazed at the engineering involved!)

Now, if you’ve ever eaten Kalo/Taro, then you might have an idea of how it is grown and cooked. But for those of you who don’t know, these plants are long-stemmed with big rounded leaves. They are planted invidiually in the ground, not found as a bush or a tree. And they are poisonous.

Yep. Poisonous. ☺

Of course, we don’t eat them in that state! You see, the leaves need to be plucked off and the root must be WELL cooked in order to remove the calcium oxianate contained in each one. (If you try to eat Kalo raw, you will be in for an unpleasant surprise when your mouth feels like razors are slicing it to pieces and starts to burn. Not good.) In fact, those who harvest Kalo must be very careful as well. They use gloves so the roots don’t irritate their hands.

I’ve often wondered who it was that first looked on such an unpleasant little plant and said, “I bet it wouldn’t be so bad if I cooked it.” Yep. Brave human being, that was. But now we eat Taro/Kalo all the time. It has become a part of our histories and our traditions.

AND, in order to celebrate the amazing plant we call Karo, we are having a FESTIVAL!

This Saturday (December 7th) we will be having our 4th Annual Waipa Kalo Festival! The Festival will run from 10am-5pm and is only $5 for adults and $1 for children. (Entrance fees will go to support the Waipa Foundation. Look them up online for more information.) The fun will take place around the Halulu Fishpond in Waipa (near Hanalei Bay) and will include things to do for every member of your family.

For those who are educationally minded, there will be displays and histories of the Kalo plant and its uses, including demonstrations of harvesting and cooking. There will also be hands-on activities for kids, artist booths for cultural crafts, and great food made of this fabulous plant! (So if you’ve never tasted Kalo/Taro before, now is your chance!) And, of course, there will be live music played ALL DAY LONG! (What’s a Kauai festival without a little music, right?)

It really is going to be a wonderful day. So if you are in Hanalei this weekend, please come by the festival. This Saturday! Halulu Fishpond! 10-5! See you there!